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Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to start your Friday

Happy Friday!
160821_janet-hinchey-vale-stacks (taken from her balcony, Aug. 13) Sized
Janet Hinchey took this photo of the Vale superstack from her balcony. Sudbury.com welcomes submissions of local photography for publication with our morning greeting. Send yours to editor@sudbury.com.

Good morning, Greater Sudbury! Here are a few stories to get you started this Thursday morning.

Provincial vaccine numbers explain why public health officials are pushing for more vaccinations

As the public debate continues over the idea of mandatory vaccines and vaccine passports, Public Health Ontario (PHO) statistics reveal the numbers of Ontario residents who have gone out to get their COVID-19 vaccine. Public health stats reveal that for those Ontario residents who are qualified (age 12 and older) to get the vaccine, more than 82 per cent have had one dose. That's 10.7 million people. The stats also show that 75 per cent are fully vaccinated, which is 9.8 million people. These numbers put Ontario beyond the vaccine expectations outlined by the Ontario government in July for the Step-3 level of the Roadmap to Reopening. Many of the pandemic restrictions were being lifted or loosened when that happened on July 16, 2021. Read more here.

Vaccine policy for Greater Sudbury municipal staff still in development

As the threat of a fourth wave of the COVID-19 pandemic looms and vaccines prove effective, the City of Greater Sudbury is working on a vaccine policy for city staff.  Sudbury.com requested an interview with Mayor Brian Bigger on the topic earlier this week. We instead received this written response on behalf of the municipality from the mayor’s chief of staff, Hugh Kruzel. “The city is reviewing the risk directive from the province and consulting with local public health to determine a vaccination policy for city staff,” the statement reads. “This has been our consistent approach and process throughout the pandemic.” A city representative noted there were 3,036 staff members with the City of Greater Sudbury in 2020, excluding Greater Sudbury Police Service but including volunteer firefighters. The municipal vaccination policy currently being drafted follows suit with other organizations that have either established or are currently in the process of drafting vaccine policies. Read the full story.

Morgan beach behind Chelmsford will soon be under city ownership

A well-known local beach in Chelmsford is changing ownership. Morgan beach (also known as Fireman’s beach) is tucked in behind Chelmsford on 24 acres along Vermillion River. It has been a favourite destination for beach-goers for decades. It’s more of a local “swimming hole” than it is a beach, and it never belonged to the City of Greater Sudbury, so it was a use-at-your-own-risk beach. For those not in the know, the land is owned by Glencore. It has been a hotly contested piece of land, with many people interested in purchasing it, said Ward 3 Coun. Gerry Montpellier. Montpellier said Glencore approached him with the idea of donating the land to the City of Greater Sudbury, because the mining company knows how well-used it is by the public.  “They asked me if I was interested on behalf of the city, and I said damn right I am,” he said. Montpellier said it was an easy decision in his mind, and it took very little convincing to get Mayor Brian Bigger in his corner. Read the full story here.

‘He cares about people’:The Liberals’ Serré officially opens campaign offices

During a pizza party with supporters, Nickel Belt federal Liberal incumbent Marc Serré celebrated the first of two campaign office grand openings in Val Caron on Wednesday. Located at 3020 Highway 69 N Unit 3, the office is situated a couple of blocks north of his constituency office.  His second campaign office grand opening, at 59 William Street in Sturgeon Falls, was to open Thursday. At more than 30,000 square kilometres in size and encompassing 48 communities, Serré said the Nickel Belt constituency is big enough to warrant both offices, which will serve as campaign headquarters for the Sept. 20 election. On Wednesday, volunteers were busy in Val Caron signing people up for lawn signs, of which Serré said he had 1,500 and counting, lined up alongside more than 100 large signs and close to a dozen highway billboards. Read more here.

Long time local mining employee running for People's Party of Canada in Nickel Belt

The federal Nickel Belt riding which surrounds Sudbury has a candidate representing the People's Party of Canada (PPC) who will be running to represent that party in the coming federal election Sept. 20. The party official website reveals that man to be David Hobbs, described as an individual who was born and raised in Northern Ontario and has resided in the North all his life. The party profile on Hobbs said he has worked in the mining industry for 33 years, which included being area lead for Vale's atmospheric emissions reduction project. Learn more here.

The Greens’ Craig Gravelle encourages Nickel Belt residents to ‘be daring’

The Green Party’s candidate in the Nickel Belt riding is Craig Gravelle. Gravelle said he plans to look into issues such as proportional representation within the Canadian electoral system and transitioning to a sustainable green economy, his website says. “He is a GLI/UBI (guaranteed liveable income/universal basic income) advocate, a supporter of proportional representation, an advocate for housing as a human right, he is against wars, and Craig knows it is time to transition to a sustainable green economy for the future of Canada,” the Green Party wrote as a part of his biography. Read more here.

Cinéfest still presenting hybrid festival for 2021, but trying to restore some normalcy

The 2021 edition of Cinéfest Sudbury International Film Festival will still be very different from its last pre-pandemic festival two years ago, but organizers say they’re glad to be able to restore at least a little normalcy. As it was in 2020, this year’s Cinéfest, which runs Sept. 18-26, will be presented in a hybrid in-person and virtual format. However, with COVID-19 restrictions having loosened, the local film festival will be able to present 60 of this year’s roughly 150 films in-theatre. That’s up from just 26 last year, when the pandemic was still relatively new and there were no vaccines. As for the lineup itself, Cinéfest executive director Tammy Frick, speaking to Sudbury.com Thursday after the festival’s lineup release, said it’s very strong this year. Check out the festival's lineup.

Friday weather: 

Friday sees a drop in temperature. It will be cloudy with a 40 per cent chance of showers in the afternoon.  Wind northeast 20 km/h gusting to 40. High of 18 C. UV index 5 or moderate. Friday night there will be showers with a low of 10 C.